Hit the ground running

Palatine Cross Country teams ready for racing

Palatine+Cross+Country+team+prepares+to+start+their+afternoon+run.

Rebecca Duran

Palatine Cross Country team prepares to start their afternoon run.

Rebecca Duran, Reporter

The 2014-2015 school year has begun, but for the Palatine girls’ and boys’ cross country teams, the camp training for the upcoming Fall season began in June–shortly after school was released for the summer. Summer is not an off-season to fall behind, but prime time to feed what the girls would call “the Beast”–a.k.a. their heart, lungs, stamina, and fitness. Both teams have been at it in the heat ready to give their racing their all.

Early Bird, the Summer running program, was a rigorous challenge of the limits the body can endure. Led by head coaches Chris Quick and Joe Parks with the aid of assistant coaches Ruth Allen, Katie Sobol, Alex Soto, and Dave Cox, each team was kept in line. Every day had a specific plan to it: Mondays were long runs to build mileage, Tuesdays and Thursdays were reserved for recovery, Wednesdays were speed work at the PHS track and Hamilton Reservoir, and Fridays were hill work outs at Reihmer Reservoir–the highest point of which is the highest point in Palatine.

Most Saturdays, the teams would gather on their own at the Palatine Train Station, Community Park, or simply outside of the gym entrance at PHS. Both the girls and boys did a few work outs with the local H.I.P. Group, which consists of runners and smiles all over the area from Hoffman Estates to Inverness to Palatine. To be able to integrate into the community in even such a small way as this was most definitely an exciting opportunity.

Midway through the summer, the girls made the annual Rim Rock trip down to the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. There they proceeded to train in the hills and bond together in the cabins. Similarly, the boys’ team took a trip to run in the higher elevation of Colorado, expanding lung capacity to its very limits.

“My team is a group of hard-working, good-character kids who expect the world from each other,” Head Coach Chris Quick said.

When asked about the benefits of the Rim Rock trip, junior Sabina Yosif (16) replied, “Hills! They help us with these tiny hills we have in Palatine.”

Gathering several promising freshmen this year has boosted morale along with the traveling camaraderie and excitement of racing with the strongest members of each team, including Kelly O’Brien, Kara Burton, and Amy Kieliszewski for the girls alongside Graham Brown, Ryan Kissane, and Zach Michael for the boys. Teams gain enthusiasm as the year starts.

Both teams are still accepting new members and welcome new interests. The first dual meet will be held on Tuesday, September 2nd at Deer Grove East against Rolling Meadows at 4:30pm. Hinsdale Invitational will be shortly thereafter away.

With positivity in stride, the cross country teams are ready for the fight they will put up in their season this fall.